Today in History
Today is Friday, July 3, the 185th day of 2020. There are 181 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 3, 1863, the three-day Civil War Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania ended in a major victory for the North as Confederate troops failed to breach Union positions during an assault known as Pickett’s Charge.
On this date:
In 1608, the city of Quebec was founded by Samuel de Champlain.
In 1775, Gen. George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In 1944, during World War II, Soviet forces recaptured Minsk from the Germans.
In 1950, the first carrier strikes of the Korean War took place as the USS Valley Forge and the HMS Triumph sent fighter planes against North Korean targets.
In 1971, singer Jim Morrison of The Doors died in Paris at age 27.
In 1976, Israel launched its daring mission to rescue 106 passengers and Air France crew members being held at Entebbe (en-TEH’-bee) Airport in Uganda (yoo-GAHN’-dah) by pro-Palestinian hijackers; the commandos succeeded in rescuing all but four of the hostages.
In 1979, Dan White, convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting deaths of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone (mahs-KOH’-nee) and Supervisor Harvey Milk, was sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison. (He ended up serving five years.)
In 1986, President Ronald Reagan presided over a gala ceremony in New York Harbor that saw the relighting of the renovated Statue of Liberty.
In 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down an Iran Air jetliner over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.
In 1996, Russians went to the polls to re-elect Boris Yeltsin president over his Communist challenger, Gennady Zyuganov (geh-NAH’-dee zhoo-GAH’-nahf), in a runoff.
In 2003, the U.S. put a $25 million bounty on Saddam Hussein, and $15 million apiece for his two sons. (The $30 million reward for Odai and Qusai Hussein went to a tipster whose information led U.S. troops to their hideout, where the brothers were killed in a gunbattle.)
In 2005, a NASA space probe, Deep Impact, hit its comet target as planned in a mission to learn how the solar system formed.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama announced the awarding of nearly $2 billion for new solar plants that he said would create thousands of jobs. Vice President Joe Biden returned to Iraq to coax its government into picking a new prime minister. Mohammed Oudeh, 73, the key planner of the 1972 Munich Olympics attack that killed 11 Israeli athletes, died in Damascus. Serena Williams won her fourth Wimbledon title and 13th Grand Slam championship by sweeping Vera Zvonareva in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, in the women’s final.
Five years ago: The Solar Impulse 2, a plane powered by the sun’s rays, landed in Hawaii after pilot Andre Borschberg made a record-breaking five-day journey across the Pacific Ocean from Japan.
One year ago: On a holiday-shortened trading day, the S&P 500 reached its third straight record high close; the Dow also closed at a record high of 26,966. Political figures and fellow officers joined family members at the funeral for Luis Alvarez, a former New York City police detective who had fought until his final days for the extension of health benefits for Sept. 11 responders. Actor Arte Johnson, best known for his comedy sketch work on “Laugh-In” in the 1960s, died of heart failure in Los Angeles; he was 90. A Florida prosecutor said the woman who had taken her estranged husband’s guns after his arrest and turned them over to police would be charged with misdemeanor trespassing instead of theft and burglary.
Today’s Birthdays: Playwright Tom Stoppard is 83. Writer-producer Jay Tarses is 81. Actor Michael Cole (TV: “The Mod Squad”) is 80. Attorney Gloria Allred is 79. Folk singer Judith Durham (The Seekers) is 77. Actor Kurtwood Smith is 77. Country singer Johnny Lee is 74. Humorist Dave Barry is 73. Actress Betty Buckley is 73. Actress Jan Smithers is 71. Actor Bruce Altman is 65. Talk show host Montel Williams is 64. Country singer Aaron Tippin is 62. Rock musician Vince Clarke (Erasure) is 60. Actor Tom Cruise is 58. Actor Thomas Gibson is 58. Actress Hunter Tylo is 58. Actress Connie Nielsen is 56. Actress Yeardley Smith is 56. TV chef Sandra Lee is 54. Singer Ishmael Butler is 51. Rock musician Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies) is 51. Actress-singer Shawnee Smith is 51. Actress-singer Audra McDonald is 50. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is 49. Actor Patrick Wilson is 47. Country singer Trent Tomlinson is 45. Actress Andrea Barber is 44. Singer Shane Lynch (Boyzone) is 44. Actor Ian Anthony Dale is 42. Actress/comedian Jule Klausner is 42. Actress Elizabeth Hendrickson is 41. Rhythm-and-blues singer Tonia Tash (Divine) is 41. Country singer-songwriter Sarah Buxton is 40. Actress Olivia Munn is 40. Actress Shoshannah Stern is 40. Rock singer-songwriter Elle King is 31. Actor Grant Rosenmeyer is 29. Actress Kelsey Batelaan is 25.